Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology



First Reader/Committee Chair

Anthony Metcalf


Callisaurus draconoides, also known as the Zebra-Tailed lizard, belongs to the family Phrynosomatidae family (Pianka, et al. 1972). C. draconoides is a widespread desert lizard found western North America. In California, this species can be found in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. There are currently several populations that reside in the San Bernardino basin on the cismontane side of the Transverse and Peninsular ranges. These mountain ranges have the potential to have isolated the cismontane populations from their typical desert ranges. In addition, geological passes have the potential to serve as migration corridor between the Deserts and cismontane regions. The purpose of this research is to (1) determine if there are lineage breaks that are consistent with the geographic regions and (2) determine if the Cajon and Banning pass serve as migration corridors to the cismontane locations. Two mitochondrial and one nuclear molecular marker were utilized to elucidate the phylogenetic and population genetic structure as well as to examine the rarity of the cismontane populations. The significant phylogenetic and population genetic structure for the cismontane Zebra-tailed lizard populations demonstrated significance in the mitochondrial maker; however, not in the nuclear marker. These finding supported that isolation of the cismontane Zebra-tailed lizards was caused by a recent tectonic plate geological event (